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Resolving Internet Connection Issues: Part 1

What should you do when you open your browser or Email program and find you don't have any Internet connection? There are lots of smart ways to figure out what is going on, but here's the quick and dirty trick which resolves most of the problems without bothering to even figure them out. I'm going to assume you are connected to the Internet through a router which is connected to what is called a modem from your ISP. I'll also assume that there are no other computers on that network which are making a connection. If others can connect, then the problem is with YOUR computer. That is not what I'm dealing with here.

Since no one is connecting, the problem is with the ISP, or the modem, or the router, or the cables. If you are the only one trying to connect then it could also be with your computer. About 90% of the time, this trick will solve the problem, whatever it is.

Part 1. Turn stuff off

1. Unplug the modem. I mean to remove electricity from the modem, not to simply turn it off. THEN: 2. Unplug the router. Again, I mean to remove electricity from it. 3. Shut off your computer. Not sleep mode or hibernation, actually shut it down and power off. 4. Wait 30 seconds more, so it has been over a minute since you unplugged the Modem.

Part 2. Turn stuff on

1. Plug the modem back in. Wait until the lights settle down to normalcy. Then: 2. Plug the router back in. Wait until the lights settle back to normalcy. Then: 3. Turn on your computer. 4. Wait a full minute after you think you are really booted up. 5. Open your browser.

Most of  the time this will resolve the issue. The important thing to remember is to do everything from the outside in. The modem connects to the outside world. The router connects to the modem and your computer connects to the router. So, as you turn things back on, the modem need to get the correct information from your ISP, then your router needs the right information from your modem, then your computer needs the information from your router.

Date: September 2008

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